Carer sat with patient

Councils sharing accountability arrangements

The Scottish Government has announced that an agreement has been reached over accountability arrangements for the National Care Service.

Local government and the NHS are central to the agreement, with decisions being made over who will take responsibility for people’s care when the National Care Service (NCS) is established. The outcome of these agreements is the overall legal accountability is to be shared between the Scottish Government, the NHS, and local government.

Following this decision, councils will still be responsible for assets such as buildings and the delivery of services, with staff remaining under the employment of local authorities.

Maree Todd, Social Care Minister, said:

“The Scottish Government has been working closely with local government to find a consensus on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill, which will allow us to deliver on the urgent improvements needed to strengthen the delivery of integrated health and social care for people.

“This partnership between the Scottish Government, local government and the NHS helps establish where responsibility for people’s care will sit under the National Care Service. The detail of how this will work at a local level will be developed in the coming months and we will continue to update parliament on this work, along with the results of our ongoing co-design events taking place across the country, after the summer recess.”

In order to ensure that the levels of service are consistently high across Scotland, new governance arrangements are to be introduced, with these also serving to meet the various community needs that are required at a local level. This will be done through the building of further flexibility.

Councillor Paul Kelly, Health and Social Care Spokesperson for COSLA, added:

“Further improving the experiences of people accessing and working social care and social work services must rest on an effective partnership between Scottish Government and Local Government. Combining shared national accountability with local expertise ensures the right balance of further improvement across Scotland, whilst rightly reflecting the diverse needs of local communities.

“We know too that successful change is driven by the valuable staff who deliver services. We hope by setting out the continued role of local authorities in delivering social care and social work functions, and staff remaining employed within councils, we offer comfort and stability to the local government workforce.

“In recognising this important first step, we know there is still more to do. As we progress forward, we are committed to continuing to work closely with people in receipt of support and partners to design a system that ensures individuals and communities always experience high quality care and support.”

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